What is progressive profiling, and do I need it?

When done right, progressive profiling provides essential information about your customers, that allows you to deliver a more personalised service, at scale.

Becky Poynton
August 12, 2021
What is progressive profiling ?

In a nutshell, progressive profiling means progressively collecting lead information over time by displaying new fields to a customer based on previously collected information about them. It requires extensive information about each lead with the ultimate goal of better segmentation for marketing campaigns and lead nurture. These carefully planned out questions can be posed to the client over time, aligning each event with the lead’s stage in the sales cycle.

What is the effect?
Progressive profiling has been purported to improve conversation rate by 20%, and is a contributing factor to why professionals are now opting to ask less questions but more meaningful ones as part of a highly personalized lead capturing process. HubSpot researched the contact forms of 40,000 customers and found conversion rates increased by almost half when the number of form fields was reduced from four to three. It’s about developing a user persona well enough to maximize marketing efforts.

For example, agents should have their website’s top-of-the-funnel landing page only ask questions that trigger the nurturing process, (name and email may suffice in other sectors, but for agents, they may also ask what area of need the visitor has). After this, personalized content can be chosen and sent immediately to them. At this point, answered questions are then replaced by the next set of carefully selected questions that will further the prospect down the funnel, aligned with relevant nurturing content.

So that means that a prospect who is interested in buying a home could be further segmented by location or budget. So the next set of questions would exclude either location or budget, whichever was a hot topic previously. They could then be inputted into a corresponding nurturing campaign directly affected by their last answers - they could be sent a brochure featuring luxury homes in the suburbs or a video promo showcasing wallet and eco-friendly options etc. Another stage of completed answers could mean sending the prospect information related to property investing, or market updates, or how to get a home ready for listing, etc. Effectively, both agent and prospect are learning more and more about each other as if on an extended date.

The possibilities for Real Estate
How will progressive profiling fare when translated into the property sector?
Here are some ways progressive profiling has started to make a difference:

Progressive profiling helps capture information without overwhelming leads with too many questions at once, while also lowering the barrier to ultimate conversion
Avoids asking leads for information that they may not be ready to provide yet (or may be unsure of, depending on which stage of the homebuying process they’re at)
It’s usually perceived as a low-risk process
Agents save time on leads that are clearly not ready to buy, and are freed up to prioritize more qualified, motivated prospects
Overall lead quality library is improved over time

Making it work for you
The advantages are many, but there are also a few things to keep in mind.
No matter how gently leads may be prodded for information from the get-go, eventually enough information will have to be provided for them to qualify and/or move them through the sales process. So it’s important to make those questions count.
It requires the agent to do some fairly thorough research determining what types of information will be needed to identify and qualify a good lead, in order to set up the right types of forms. That said, this type of ‘homework’ should be expected no matter what lead generating process is adopted. Any website landing page form that doesn’t ask relevant enough questions runs the risk of seeing higher bounce rates.
It takes practice, testing, time and patience to develop and optimize starting with honing the question workflow logic. It’s also vital to have a meaningful scoring or points system, (ie. implementing good triggers and identifiers). Thankfully, brands like Hubspot have progressive profiling implementation options available to help create smarter forms, making it easier for agents to try progressive profiling out and finding if it works for them.

For more on building good relationships with prospects, read our recent blog post:

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